Critically acclaimed Irish director Jim Sheridan

In the next couple of years, acclaimed Dublin-born director Jim Sheridan (“In the Name of the Father,” “In America”) is planning to tell gritty Irish-American stories about gangsters in Boston and New York.

This coming holiday season, however, Sheridan will be releasing “Brothers,” a dramatic film about a love triangle which will surely get some attention when it comes time to hand out Oscar nominations.

“Brothers” stars Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire. Portman plays a wife whose husband (Maguire) is presumed lost in Iraq. The soldier’s brother (Gyllenhaal) seeks to console the young widow, only to fall in love with the grieving woman. Then it turns out her husband is not dead after all and will soon be returning home.

“Brothers” is Sheridan’s first film since the 2005 biopic of rapper 50 Cent, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’.”

The screenplay for “Brothers” was written by David Benioff, whose previous work includes the film “The 25th Hour,” in which Ed Norton played an Irish-American drug dealer at odds with his immigrant dad.

After “Brothers,” Sheridan’s next two projects are “Black Mass,” which tells the sweeping story of South Boston gangster Whitey Bulger (due out in 2010) and “Emerald City,” about the Irish mob in Hell’s Kitchen (which may not be released until 2011).

“Brothers” is due in theaters December 4.